A renowned English author, Arthur Conan Doyle, was born on the 22nd of May in 1859, in Edenborough, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was an artist, while his mother, Mary Doyle, was a homemaker. Despite her domesticity, she shared a passion for reading with her husband. Initially, the family spent quality time, but later, Charles’s alcoholism pushed the family toward hard times with the resultant loss of a happy union. Following the misfortune, the family got scattered in 1864, while the children shared accommodation with one of their aunts.
He started his formal education at Newington Academy followed by a Jesuit preparatory school in England. After two years, he attended Stony Hurst College but was not happy with the school’s strict and harsh environment. The subjects that the school covered were Euclidean geometry, algebra, classic, and rhetoric, which could never promote a healthy educational environment. Later, when he studied medicine at the University Of Edinburgh Medical School, his interest in literature also grew. Hence, he started writing short stories, and one of his earlier fictions “The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe” appeared with another story “The Mystery of Sasassa Valley” in Blackwood’s Magazine and Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal. After completing his medical degree, he became a medical officer on a steamer traveling between West Africa and Liverpool. With this hectic schedule, he continued his literary pursuits side by side.
Personal Life and Death
Conan Doyle married twice in life. First, he married Louisa Hawkins in 1885. Unfortunately, the lady suffered from tuberculosis, and it became the reason for her early demise in 1907. Soon after Louisa’s death, he remarried Jean Elizabeth Leckie and fathered five children. After providing a considerable legacy to the world, Doyle died of a heart attack at seventy-one in 1930.
Awards and Honors
Conan Doyle’s literary services were not only celebrated globally but also won him various awards and honors. He received Queen’s South Africa Medal in 1901 and Knight Bachelor honor in 1902. His other achievements included Knight of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, Order of the Medjidie, and Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy.
Some Important Facts about Him
- He is widely known for his work, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four.
- His book about dinosaurs, The Lost World, gained immense popularity and inspired many books and movies.
- King Edward VII knighted him in 1902 for writing a pamphlet justifying British actions during the Boer War.
- He had a chance to run for the parliament; first, in 1900 and later, in 1906.
Conan Doyle became a published writer at a very young age when he was studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He started writing a mystery novel, A Tangled Skein, in 1886, which got published after two years but with a different title, A Study in Scarlet. The novel introduced two famous characters, Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Watson, which earned him global fame. Later, he expressed his ideas about spiritualism in his letters that appeared in a weekly periodical, Light. His next three autobiographical books, Beyond the City, The Stark Munro Letters, and A Duet with an Occasional Chorus, set his repute as an influential writer of his time. Following this literary success, he decided to leave the medical profession. Then he focused on writing and produced historical novels that include The Great Shadow and Rodney Stone. His other publications include The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, The Adventure of the Empty House, and The Lost World.
About his style, Doyle has earned a name by creating Sherlock Holms and corresponding style. He uses a liner writing narrative in his work, following a chronological order written in flowery language, and parallel structures. In his most celebrated work, Sherlock Holmes, he narrated the past incidents exactly the way they occurred, following a logical sequence and connectivity. This writing approach allows the story to be a mystery, ultimately increasing its allure. The second most prominent feature in his writing stands the effusive sentence structure.
Some Important Works of Arthur Conan Doyle
- Best Novels: Some of his literary wonders include A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Narrative of John Smith, The Great Shadow, The Stark Munro Letters, and A Duet, with an Occasional Chorus.
- Other Works: Besides writing remarkable novels, he tried his hands in other areas too. Some of his efforts include The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement”, “The Case of Lady Sannox”, “The Club-Footed Grocer” and The Vital Message
Doyle’s Impact on Future Literature
This multi-talented literary figure left a commendable legacy to the world. His impressive stories have inspired various films and won a huge fan club worldwide. He successfully created Sherlock Holmes, the master detective of all times. Also, through his ingenious ways of solving crimes, he contributed a lot to the field of modern forensic science. It seems that Sherlock Holmes alone could never let the world forget Doyale and his literary output.
- “My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.” (The Sign of Four)
- “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’
‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’
‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’
‘That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.” (Silver Blaze)
- “A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.” (The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes)
- “What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what you can make people believe you have done.” (A Study in Scarlet)